Value of a premium Ethernet cable

In my current setup, digital music from a Roon ROCK NUC server travels through an Uptone Audio EtherRegen and a short link of fiber, thence to a long stretch of ordinary contractor-grade Cat 5a cable, and finally to a dCS Bartók streaming DAC.


At substantial effort and expense, I could rearrange things so the final length of Ethernet would be replaced by a single run of something like an Audioquest Vodka Ethernet cable. I'm wondering if anyone has experience of whether this is worth the trouble and expense. Well mostly the expense; the "trouble" is the hobby part of it.



great post! Actually even easier than using two different cables: insert a LAN isolator ahead of your streamer with whatever cable you use.,Should be enough to convince you that there is more going on than bits are bits…


The interference messes with the shape of the sine wave thereby changing both amplitude and midpoint

This is impossible if we are discussing only the transfer of a digital file from the source (e.g. Qobuz) to the streamer. The digital file cannot be altered prior to it being converted to analogue. 



Well regarded members of this forum have stated adamantly that digital audio is a true stream of data, and not a bit checked/error corrected file sent over TCP/IP in packets.

This confused me so I contacted BlueSound. Digital audio is transmitted over TCP/IP just like an other digital data file.

Errors can and do occur, e.g. the packets can get sent out of order, which can create a slight delay while the processor assembles the file (assuming the transfer is completed) but the file is the identical once it arrives at the transport/streamer no matter whether it is sent over WiFi or a $1K ethernet cable.

That is my only point.

If your new cable, wherever in the chain that is, sounds better, and you are happy with the ROI, great.

But don’t tell me the amplitude over time of a sine wave in a digital file can be altered by an ethernet cable of varying quality.



a sine wave in a digital file

*the digital representation of a sine wave in a digital file

The difference between a trash amazon ethernet cable and a Audioquest Cinnamon is substantial.

The difference between a Cinnamon and a Diamond Audioquest on my rig is not so substantial (quite subtle actually).

Essentially, it comes down to the resolution of you room+rig (the pre-requisite), i.e., how nitpicky you want to be. To improve a room’s resolution, it costs a lot for treatments that actually work. But, the latter tends to trump any gains from the likes of cables by a lot.